Grado has knocked it out of the park with the GW100x, a terrific pair of wi-fi on-ears with an expressive audio efficiency, lengthy battery life and higher consolation than you may anticipate from an on-ear. If you need the best-sounding wi-fi on-ear efficiency, these are presently our high suggestion.
- Extra snug than you may anticipate
- Energetic, energetic, and fascinating sound
- Lengthy battery life
- Excellent name high quality
- Not the most effective noise-isolation
- Patchy wi-fi efficiency in busy areas
4th Gen X driverRedesigned 44mm driver models
Battery life46 hours of battery life
BluetoothSBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive codecs
I can’t assist however admire Grado’s persistence. Whereas noise-cancelling over-ears are massively widespread, the GW100x reveals the Brooklyn-based firm is just not one for chasing the mainstream route.
The Grado GW100x are neither the over-ears generally seen on commutes, neither is there any curiosity in supporting noise-cancelling (which might be laborious for an on-ear to do anyway). It doesn’t have a ‘Professional’ or ‘Max’ within the identify, simply an ‘x’, which hopefully signifies the X issue.
The GW100x aren’t probably the most handy for outside use, however they do supply a terrific audio efficiency that warrants nearer inspection.
- Design leaks noise in from the surface
- Comfy to put on
- Easy to make use of
Like the unique GW100, the Grado GW100x aren’t probably the most sensible pair of headphones outdoors the house. They’re nearly antithetical to be used in public areas.
Why? Properly, the GW100x have each an on-ear and open-backed design, each of which aren’t famend for his or her noise-isolating properties to filter sounds away once you’re within the midst of a music session.
The on-ear design means exterior noises filter by way of – when it will get actually loud on the Victoria and Jubilee line it turns into laborious to listen to something. On an overground practice they’re tremendous, and strolling by way of London, they’re okay, however these headphones aren’t constructed to deal with loud environments.
The open-backed design (the perforated grille on the earcups) has the alternative impact of leaking the audio to the world outdoors. Nonetheless, Grado says they’ve taken steps to cut back the quantity of sound that escapes by as much as 60% in comparison with their wired headphones. A good thing about the open-back design is that it widens the soundstage, greater than you’d usually hear on a closed-back, over-ear design.
Simply to additional add to the shortage of practicality, there’s no carry case, so if you happen to’re taking these headphones on lengthy journeys, they’re both being stuffed in a bag or going across the neck.
Regardless of that, the Grado GW100x just about nail the opposite areas of the design transient. They’re probably the most snug wi-fi on-ears I’ve worn in a while. The Grado’s WS Cushion (which may be swapped out and changed) does warmth my ears up however by no means to the purpose the place it turns into uncomfortable.
Whereas the clamping power is tight, it’s additionally to not the purpose the place the headphones pinch on the earlobes. It’s the precise degree of pressure to maintain them affixed to the top, and at about 188g, they’re a light-weight pair.
Onboard buttons are saved to the naked minimal: a multi-function button for energy, playback, and Bluetooth pairing, plus quantity buttons that additionally double up as monitor skipping forwards and backwards (with a protracted press). The three.5mm jack is retained (cable included within the packaging), however the GW100’s micro-USB port receives a welcome improve to USB-C.
- Lengthy battery life
- aptX Adaptive Bluetooth assist
- Clear voice high quality
Options aren’t normally quite a few for a pair of on-ears – the Sony WH-CH520 are probably the most characteristic packed I’ve come throughout with their EQ, Bluetooth multipoint, and different customisation prospects. Nonetheless, what you see is what you get from the Grado GW100x.
There’s no app to fiddle with, no firmware updates or battery degree to examine except you’re wanting on the icon in your cell gadget. Bluetooth assist is model 5.2, and dropouts have been frequent at Victoria practice station. That’s a shock contemplating the headphones assist Bluetooth codecs as much as aptX Adaptive, which is meant to offer a steady connection in busy sign areas. These with iOS gadgets will solely have the ability to profit from AAC streaming.
The efficiency with calls was a extra optimistic shock in mild of its open-back design. Voices are intelligible and clear on each ends, and background noise is saved to a minimal in most conditions. It’s solely when it turned actually loud that it was more durable for my voice to penetrate by way of the noise.
Stamina is superb. These headphones really feel as if they’ll go on and on at default quantity (which, fortunately, is kind of loud). An 11-hour battery drain solely noticed them fall to 80%, so there must be a minimum of 50 hours to get pleasure from earlier than a recharge is required.
Sound High quality
- Energetic sense of dynamism
- Agency bass, brilliant highs
- Vast soundstage
In comparison with the unique GW100, the Grado GW100x play louder at related quantity ranges, and that instantly offers them extra impression. The tuning of the 4th Gen X Driver has had a couple of adjustments too with the midrange barely crisper, and bass extra pronounced.
There’s extra power, dynamism, and drive to the GW100x’s efficiency, and its midrange readability has the wonderful impact of separating and isolating vocals from the remainder of a monitor, giving them extra space to breathe.
The highest finish of the frequency vary is brilliant and there’s a level of heat to the low frequencies with an honest bass output for an on-ear pair. In comparison with the Grado GW100, the GW100x is clearer and extra outlined in the way it offers with bass.
There’s a propulsive circulation the Grados give to Porno Graffiti’s Melissa that captures the monitor’s bouncy power. The percussive hits of the drum hit cleanly and punchily, and whereas there’s maybe not the utmost sense of element and definition to devices, the tone and character of every instrument is nicely described.
The width of the soundstage permits for music tracks to be unfold extensive. With Keep Excessive (Infantile Gambino model), it’s a monitor painted on an enormous canvas, Gambino’s vocals planted within the centre with backing vocals out in the direction of the sides. With a soundstage this massive it feels as immersive as you may get with out listening to spatial audio tracks similar to Dolby Atmos and Sony’s 360 Actuality Audio.
That monitor can also be a great instance of the GW100x’s attain when it comes to brightness with excessive frequency notes, presenting them with sufficient shine and readability to provide them impression, however to not the purpose they’re both grating or distorted.
There’s good variation in GoGo Penguin’s Raven that depicts every hit of the piano key nicely, whereas with some headphones the piano keys can meld into one. That’s additional bolstered by a play of Andreas Ihlebæk’s Come Summer time, by which the Grado captures the number of keystrokes with a wealthy sense of brightness.
The tuning of the Grado GW100x ensures they’re an amazing pay attention throughout a wide range of tracks, but when I needed to nit-pick, it’s that the heat of the GW100x’s presentation that doesn’t produce excessive ranges of element and constancy. It’s a nit-pick because the Grados are enormously fulfilling, radiating power, dynamism, and energy for a energetic and fascinating pay attention.
Must you purchase it?
You should purchase for the wonderful audio efficiency: I haven’t heard an on-ear that sounds pretty much as good because the Grado GW100x. They’re a terrifically expressive and dynamic performer.
You shouldn’t purchase if you happen to hate interruptions from the surface world: The Grado’s lack of safety from the surface world means it’s adequate for many commutes, though it received’t survive the loudest elements of the Underground.
The design carries its drawbacks, which doesn’t make the Grado GW100x most suited to outside use, however is that as massive an obstacle? I see loads of commuters sporting on-ear and even open-eared headphones like AirPods and Shokz, so there are some greater than tremendous coping with some noise leakage.
If that describes you then the Grado GW100x are one of many best-sounding wi-fi on-ears round, an expressive pair of headphones with an expansive soundstage, agency bass and fulfilling sense of power and dynamism. They’re a cracking pay attention.
The wi-fi efficiency might stand to be much less flaky in busy sign areas, particularly with its aptX Adaptive assist; however elsewhere they’re one of many extra snug on-ears I’ve worn, name high quality is surprisingly good, and the battery life will hold these headphones going for days. Grado has knocked it out of the park with the GW100x. Try our Greatest Headphones record for much more choices.
How we take a look at
We take a look at each set of headphones we assessment completely over an prolonged time frame. We use business normal assessments to match options correctly. We’ll at all times let you know what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to assessment a product.
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Examined for a number of months
Battery drain take a look at carried out
Examined with actual world use
There’s no Bluetooth multipoint assist with these headphones, so you’ll be able to solely join them to at least one gadget at a time.
SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive
44mm X Collection
20 20000 – Hz